West Spotlight: The best prospects I've seen this fall
Rivals.com national recruiting director Adam Gorney highlights a few of the best prospects from the West that he saw in person this fall.
CLASS OF 2026 RANKINGS: Rivals100
What stands out most about Baker - and why he’s under five-star consideration more than ever - is that he’s so technically sound and so athletic as an offensive tackle that he can handle speedy edge rushers with no problem and also control power moves to the inside.
Some might be confused that the Texas commit plays right tackle, but it's only because it works for the Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei offensive line with him there and Auburn commit DeAndre Carter on the left. Baker is someone who has elite athletic ability, he does enough to control defenders with his power and over this season against high-end competition he’s rarely been beaten.
The four-star Alabama commit has been a trusted cornerback in Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s defense for a few years and he has all the tools to be special in Tuscaloosa and beyond.
Brown has length, instincts, ball skills, speed, toughness, the ability to tackle in space and the four-star plays with an edge that will be crucial to have in the SEC. The Mater Dei standout showed all season that he can give cushion and then come up and make an open-field tackle or press at the line of scrimmage and drive receivers to the sideline.
The Auburn commit has the body of an offensive guard but the footwork of an elite offensive tackle and he had another stellar season playing left tackle for powerhouse Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei.
Carter could trim up some once he gets to the SEC, but it almost has zero effect on his ability to block, move his feet and be shockingly athletic for someone his size. If the Tigers move him inside, then that power base should be incredibly useful to move human beings out of running lanes and pass block as well. He’s been outstanding at Mater Dei and has shown he can move positions with ease.
Let’s be clear: Iamaleava is no longer just Nico’s little brother who’s also trying to make his way at quarterback. The 2025 four-star from Downey (Calif.) Warren has compiled a phenomenal junior season and his team is still in the playoffs. Iamaleava has completed more than 60% of his passes for 3,462 yards with 42 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Iamaleava is a tremendous playmaker and Colorado State four-star receiver commit Jordan Ross was his favorite target, but what also stands out about Iamaleava is his positivity and leadership capabilities. The four-star has Washington and others involved, but after a season like this every team in the country should be coming for the next Iamaleava quarterback.
Viliamu-Asa might be the best linebacker in the 2024 class - whether that’s now or in the future - because he’s so smart, so productive and has done a tremendous job leading the powerhouse Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco defense for years.
There are some at Bosco who’ve told me that Viliamu-Asa is the best defensive player in program history, and as this season has unfolded it’s definitely believable because he has power and speed to make plays all over the field and he has superstar potential once he gets in Notre Dame’s defense.